Jacinda Jacobs Talks Talent and Passion – And Her Journey to Discover Both

Written by Meg Seitz · Photography by Julia Fay

Jacinda Jacobs hits you with light and grace the second you meet her; over the course of our interview, she answers every question artfully. The latter is a skill she’s refined after years of working in media. The former is a beautiful by-product of her journey to discover her passion.

Talent and passion are two very different things. Jacobs figured that out the long way. {Continued below}

Jacobs launched her career in media back in 2007 as the Morning Show Co-Host and Producer at Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat; she then moved onto a role as Afternoon Traffic Reporter at WBTV Charlotte; in 2011, she started as a Freelance Reporter and Weather Forecaster for WCCB-TV. With both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Communication, this was the dream, right?

“My only job now is to create space for other people and let whatever happens to unfold as it’s supposed to.”

“There was a part of the television world that I loved,” she remembers. “And although I got paid to do it, it didn’t make me happy. I felt like I was missing something.”

With that realization, she made a tough choice. She walked away from a budding career in television.

So, what was next? Prison ministry.

In that respective role helping the children and families of those incarcerated, Jacobs found a new light.

“In doing prison ministry, I really felt like I was on fire in a way I’d never been before,” she says. “Here I am in these prisons with men who have done horrible things – and all I can think is ‘I love doing this, this is amazing.’”

It was then that Jacobs saw the great divide between talent and passion. More so though, she saw an opportunity to bring them together for her own life.

She’s incredibly clear about it as she discusses it today – media is her talent; ministry is her passion.

“Much of the journey recently has been trying to find what works for me because I couldn’t do either full-time,” she recalls. “I had to marry them together. I had to create it.”

Last year, Jacobs did just that when she created Stolen Lunches, a Bible study community based in Charlotte with plans to expand nationally and globally.

The first Stolen Lunches meeting was a serendipitous accident.

“I noticed a lot of women were sad or depressed, and I was feeling the same way,” Jacobs recalls. “I just remember thinking, ‘Well, we all need to eat lunch,’ so we met over lunch one day; a lot of us left
crying – and completely inspired.”

She knew she was onto something.

“The book is my story of knowing that there was something more out there, but I was too scared to go get it – and I just didn’t know what it looked like.”

Today, Stolen Lunches hosts dozens of Bible study meet-ups each week for women, men, singles, married couples, and children; Every meet-up has its own vibe; you can call-in or virtually view any session. Cities including Tampa, Charleston, and Chicago are catching on and hosting Stolen Lunches Bible Studies of their own. Anyone and everyone has access to their weekly prayer calls. They’re also planning a Stolen Weekend Retreat in August 2018.

The weekly Bible studies – many of which are hosted at Hygge – are more than that though. They’re communities in and of themselves. And what’s great about them is they’re not limited to those in the room.

“Bible studies are cool, but it’s sometimes hard to find one you can connect with maybe because of the time or frequency,” Jacobs explains. “Our goal is to create a bird’s eye view, so people can watch or call in from anywhere. And everyone is welcome – whether that’s in-person or virtually.”

For those curious about Jacobs’ media career today, it looks a lot different than she ever imagined. She is the Host for Sunday Morning Inspiration on V101.9 in Charlotte as well as the Charlotte Hornets Arena Host with her husband, Derrick “Fly Ty” Jacobs. She’s also a newly-published author of the book, Uniquely Qualified: Walk into Your Destiny.

The book was a labor of love she started back in 2014. She finished it in late 2017.

“The book is my story of knowing that there was something more out there,” she notes. “But I was too scared to go get it – and I just didn’t know what it looked like.”

She shares her journey, but then turns it on the reader. She did that purposely – it’s one thing to read it, but Jacobs is the first to tell you that you must do the work, too.

Early on in the process, a book publisher advised her to change the book’s title. She held her ground. She remembers clearly when someone told her that she herself was uniquely qualified. “I’ll never forget that moment. And I say that to readers, too – you have been qualified to walk into your purpose,” she advises. “Focus on you for right now, and you will get to that purpose.”

Today, Jacobs’ job is that unique combination of passion and talent. And she’s pretty damn happy with it.

“My only job now is to create space for other people and let whatever happens to unfold as it’s supposed to,” Jacobs shares. “I know I’ve served my purpose when someone comes in one way, and you can see that whatever just happened, lit a fire within them.”

Meet the Author: Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University and Founding Partner of the children’s book series, “Bea is for Business”.

She’s an English major with an MBA, so she can talk Homer’s “The Odyssey” just as well as she can talk sunk costs – though she’d much prefer the former.

Meet the photographer: Julia Murray, owner of Julia Fay Photography, feels most at home behind a camera with a story to tell on the other side. Her business began during her sophomore year of college, while majoring in radio and tv broadcasting. Now residing in Charlotte NC, she primarily shoots weddings and other local small businesses like her own. Her favorite part about her job is the connection it brings between art and people.